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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssicarman View Post
    Banana juice???? How the H... do you juice a banana?
    I think it was a Banana that had been pulverised in milk as we saw the very young daughter of the restaurant owner go off and come back with a bag that had the Bananas in so it was at least fresh and very 'Yummy'!

    Possibly what in the Western World would be called a 'Fruit Shake' as they also offered Advocat & Orange which also looked nice as a group of tourists ordered one of each of those.

  2. #102
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    Stage 34 “Skoura to Ouarzazate”

    “Salam Alikam”

    Our final Sunset at Camping Amridil while our stay here has been very relaxing….



    Then this morning as we are getting ready to depart we see this rather strange ladder which we think is possibly upside down! Up against the side of a ‘Camper’ as the man on the camper roof is fixing his satellite dish…..



    While back on the road we pass this rather nice looking Hotel with a BIG Camper in the carpark inside..…



    Over the dry river bed, but we were on a bridge, which was surprisingly quite flat and not the 'bumpy bumpy' ride that we expect!…..



    Then over the next hill and the road stretches away while in the distance is our next stop at Ouarzazate….



    Into the town after managing to find a garage that would take the credit card in payment for a tankful of Gazole for ‘Flamenco Red’ which made a change from the continuous cash payments, as we then follow this new ‘Baby’ Range Rover….



    Down to the Traffic Island, around and come back on yourself then take the second turn right just before these new buildings on your left and follow the sign…..



    To the campsite…..



    Reception…



    Campground on which we are the only Car & ‘Tin Tent’….





    While the ‘Ants’ are BIG at around 1Centimeter (3/8 inch)



    Get set up, bit of lunch and we set off for short stroll and a look around the city….

    As we pass this rather forlorn Renault Van…..



    While up on top of the Mosque is this pair of Stalks who have made their nest ready for presumably their new arrivals…..



    Then we spot this rather strange looking residence, at the end of a side street and went to have a closer look, but it seems that the ‘Towers’ might be viewing places looking out to the Mountains…..



    While along the main road are the ‘Tourist Gift’ shops…..





    On the other side of the road is a Kasbah which was renovated for a film that was made and then left to fall apart again! The picture below is of the best bit……



    Setting off on a short cut back to the campsite we were rather glad we still had daylight, as this was a track/roadway!….



    Back into the city tomorrow as we need provisions, while the temperature is supposed to rise from the 20C of today to 23C tomorrow, and it felt HOT today!

    tisbah `ala khair (Arabic ‘Good night’)

  3. #103
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    Stage 34A “A day in Ouarzazate”

    “Salam Alikam”

    Sunset here in Ouarzazate was rather nice last night as we could watch the clouds change colour as the Sun dropped down…..





    Then off to the Covered Market this morning after breakfast we pass the Kasbah again parts of which are falling down as maintenance is non-existent ..…



    With a view back in the direction from which we have just come…..



    While continuing along the main road through the city we pass along this very large wall….



    Then a bit further along outside their offices, we see this Red Cross Ambulance looking a bit the worse for wear and a nearly treadless front tyre.….



    As we find the ‘Tourist Office’ unfortunately the information available in the office is virtually non existant so the comments made in the 2010 version of ‘The Rough Guide to Morocco’ still apply which is mind boggling when you see in every large city/town offices that train people in Tourism!.....



    As we pass this person who clearly is still feeling the after effects of a night on the tiles…..



    Then we come to the city square…..



    Café’s & Restaurants…



    Travel Bureaus and a couple of Souvenir shops.….



    When we finally find the ‘Covered Market’ having tried using the very poor photocopied ‘Plan de Ville’ (City Map) from the Tourist Office we did not find a lot of stalls open, even at 11:30am…..



    So having got what we could, we set off back but also to try another of those ‘Fruit Juice Drinks’ at this ‘Jus Cremerie’ who also sold tins of Luncheon Meat and Eggs….



    This was the ceiling inside the ‘Jus Cremerie’…..



    While here is our Papaya & Banana Juice drinks, which were very nice….



    As we continued to make our way back to the campsite time was marching on and it was past lunchtime, so we stopped at the Bus Station and used the Café for a Morocain Salad which was very refreshing, nice and also filling…..



    With the view out of the window for ‘People watching’…..



    Then as we make our way back to the campsite after lunch we hear this loud music and it turns out to be this 3 Wheeler that goes past us with all sorts of things hanging from and inside it as the driver goes down the road……



    Back on the road tomorrow to the next campsite which is not far away…..

    tisbah `ala khair (Arabic ‘Good night’)

  4. #104
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    Stage 35 “Ouarzazate to near Ait Ben Haddou”

    “Salam Alikam”

    Sunset was nothing spectacular last night so there ain’t no picture for today’s update!...

    Setting off on the road out of the city this morning we pass along the main road with the majority of the Banks dotted along the roadside….



    As TomTom’s Jane tells us to continue taking the second exit as we get to this nicely decorated traffic island…..



    Then we pass this man who is trotting down the road while waving his arms up and down! Not sure if he was practising a little know ‘flying technique’ or he was still ‘as high as a kite’ from some medication! ..…



    As we then come to the first Film Studios of which there is more later…..



    Then it was open countryside…..





    With the ‘Tourist Gift Shops’ at various places along the road….



    As we get to the next village and the second Film Studios…..



    So after getting to the campsite we got setup, registered and decided to go back and take a closer look at the 2 Film Studios, even though the lady on reception at the campsite advised us along with ‘The Rough Guide to Morocco’ that a visit was not worth it …..

    Pulled into the car park of the first one and noticed the Guardien who was eyeing us up as we went into the Hotel Reception to find that it was going to cost around £5 ($7.5) each for a ticket, while a number of the exhibits outside looked like they had been made by schoolchildren, so we didn’t bother and made our way out and back to Flamenco Red whereupon the Guardien was making overtures about getting paid and we had only been there around 5 minutes!





    Next stop was the CLA Studios which was the same set up, but I noticed as we went along the road what looked like an old film set in the distance which to get to was along a pisted track, so off we went and arrived here….



    With a few old film props around the nearby area and a man who appeared from around the back of the film set waving for us to go over to him, you can just see him on the right hand side of the previous picture….

    Siege Catapult…



    Siege Tower….



    It turned out after we got over to him that he wanted to see our ‘visit tickets’ so we made our excuses as we could see that the film set around the back was in dire straits and made an exit ‘stage left’ …..



    But stopped for one last ‘shot’ on the track back to the main road….



    Then it was back to the campsite and some lunch, followed by sorting out a couple of things as we plan to visit Ait Ben Haddou tomorrow so it will more than likely be a heavy picture update after we get back!…..

    tisbah `ala khair (Arabic ‘Good night’)

  5. #105
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    Stage 35A “A morning visit to Ait Ben Haddou”

    “Salam Alikam”

    Ait Ben Haddou is a ‘Ksar’ which means it is a small village, and is classed as a World Heritage Site, and has a fascinating history associated with it least of which is being used in quite a number of films !...

    So, turn left out of the campsite and right as we come to the centre of our village and take this road….



    Then the road gets narrower for the next 9Km.....



    As we pass the ‘Tourist Camels’ that you can sit on and have your picture taken! ..…





    As we came into Ait Ben Haddou I found this information plate that I hope you can enlarge as I have not reduced the picture size, and read as it gives some of the history of the place…..



    As we then parked up under a nice shady tree and got out we saw how the rendering is applied to the buildings as they are constructed….



    Then we start to make our way towards the ‘Ksar’….



    Coming very soon to the Tourist Gift Shops…..



    Then as we get to the end of the alley and turn the corner the scenery opens up, and there in front is the ‘Ksar’ of Ait Ben Haddou!...









    Looking North on the bridge….



    One of the ‘Ksar’ entrances …..



    Then as we go in through the entrance we look up and see this ‘split’ in the rock!….



    Which close up raises the question of when is it going to ‘drop off?…..



    Past more Tourist Gift Shops….



    Then we find the plan and decide to head to the top and the rather small Agadir…



    Following the ‘Visite Route’ we then pass this ‘Kasbah’ which is a family house….



    With some more of the small number of dwellings that are still occupied…





    Then turn left through the archway and start the climb up the steps…..



    As we come to a small Synagogue….



    Passed another occupied building….



    We then get our first taste of the view from the ‘Ksar’….



    While we next pass this rather intricate tower….



    Still going up we see another group going down….



    With more of the view from the ‘Ksar’ across the river….







    Finally we are at the top and the Agadir…..



    As the door was open I went inside but sadly there was not a lot to see and a great disappointment when we compare it to the Agadirs in Amtoudi that we visited last year….





    While the view from outside looking North was something else…..



    The South….



    Then looking down into the ‘Ksar’ we spot this collapsed roof….



    Starting to make our way back down….



    We did think that this piece of wood was going to be carved out to make a Pipe for a Giant!....



    As I get a close up of a roof showing the Bamboo covering held in place with a Mud and Stone covering that has dried and become very hard, but is nearly waterproof….



    A house that is in the process of being re-furbished….



    Then we arrive at another entrance/exit to the lower level….



    While at this point we could see some of the erosion that is taking place in the ‘Ksar’….



    Time to go outside and admire the view looking back to the ‘Ksar’….







    Another ‘resident’ in a different ‘house’…..



    Time to cross the river…..





    With a panorama looking back from a better point…..



    Then a non-panoramic….



    With a close up of some of the detail in the wall…..



    The ‘Tajine Wall’ view….



    Making our way back to Flamenco Red, via a slightly different route and at the rear of the building that was having the rendering applied as we came in we were not sure if all the ‘old’ building material in the corner was holding the building up!....



    Turning right we started walking through the village on the opposite side of the river to the ‘Ksar’ and find the Almond blossom has started to emerge…



    Small tower…..



    While the ‘Hay Truck’ arrived with a lot of horn blasting as people came out to get a bale to feed their Donkey…..



    Then this rather ‘haughty’ female camel came past who did not like humans and voiced her dislike via her mouth….



    Go back to Flamenco Red and make our way back to the campsite, but stop at a viewing point for a couple more pictures…..





    As we make our way back along the rather narrow road and the side of the river, looking down we see what is Salt on the river bed…













    As we leave Ait Ben Haddou we look back and see this rider making their way along one of the alleys on their Donkey…..



    While back at the campsite, this is it…..





    As we then go to get some water to make a drink of coffee, and compare it to a bottle of mineral water it does not look good, so we stick with the mineral water for the kettle!

    In fact when I came to try and clean the windows of Flamenco Red they ended up worse than when I started, due we understand to high levels of Calcium and Salt, which you can also ‘taste’ in the shower….



    After a bit of lunch we are off to another small village for a look around, but as I have to get this lot uploaded, that part will have to wait until tomorrow…

    tisbah `ala khair (Arabic ‘Good night’)

  6. #106
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    Stage 35B “A stroll around a nearby village near Camping Tissa”

    “Salam Alikam”

    Thanks to some rather noisy ‘Hounds’ (Man’s Best Friend!) on the campsite last night I got this extra part completed, so it’s over to you…..

    After lunch we decided as we are leaving tomorrow to go for a stroll around a nearby village with the following results….

    As we leave the campsite and turn left to go down the road and over the bridge the water looks similar to what we got when we opened the tap on the campsite, while we see a number of pipes coming from the river up the bank!…..



    Looking back up the road with the bridge just in front….



    While further along in the village close to the campsite we see this Cement Delivery, and I am rather glad the bags did not slip!..…



    A bit further along we turn left onto the ‘piste’ road…..



    Then a short way down this vehicle appears, loaded with people from the village we are going to have a look at as they get a lift….



    Looking across the open countryside…..



    While France has its ‘Avenues of Trees’, Morocco has its ‘Avenue of Bamboo Canes’….



    Then as we turn a corner we see the village we are heading for…..



    Passing a recently tilled field….



    We then see a number of Almond trees in bloom also giving off a very nice bouquet…..





    While the Honey Bees were busily at work…..



    I think this next Bee was ‘Digging for Victory’!.....





    Alongside were the herb beds….



    Then we get up into the village itself…..











    At the far end of the village we see this rather strange shaped hill behind a ruined building, but it was a fair distance away and zooming in to take the picture did not provide a totally clear shot…..



    Coming back through the village we find this house with its own Almond tree in the back garden….



    While just around the corner, this lady is carrying a meal on her head….



    Further along we see the local fertilizer which is transported in sacks on either side of a Donkey to the growing area where the men work it into the soil…..



    As we then make our way away from the village we see three modes of transport going towards the village…
    On the left of the picture is a Bicycle, then moving right we have a Moped and finally the Donkey….
    I leave you to work out which was carrying the heaviest load…..



    As we pass the Wednesday washing drying in the Sun….



    Tomorrow or now Today! (Thursday) Sees us going up the Tizi – N – Tichka pass and if the campsite is open at the top we could be spending the night there before going down the other side into Marrakech….

    tisbah `ala khair (Arabic ‘Good night’)

  7. #107
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    Stage 36 “Near Ait Ben Haddou to the top of the Tizi – N – Tichka Pass ”

    “Salam Alikam”

    I am not joking when I say that there were a rather large number of pictures from our trip on this stage as the scenery was stunning, to be honest it was a heck of a lot better than last year even though the road was worse with ‘POTHOLES’ than when we went over the other route over the Atlas Mountains to Midelt, so as a result I have picked the best ones out for the update….

    So….BUCKLE UP in the ‘Third Seat’ and sit back and enjoy the ride, as we leave the campsite and pass by the first village…..





    Bringing home the ‘Firewood’! It was around 09:30AM when we saw these ladies so I think they have been up since the crack of dawn collecting the wood in the packs on their backs .…









    Nice place for a restaurant, but as we had just had breakfast we did not stop, even for a coffee….







    Fancy ‘Teapots’ for anyone?....









    While the area and the road up through the Mountains seems to offer a lot of Huile d’Argan (Oil from the fruit of the Argan Tree) there does not seem to be that many Argan Trees around so far …..





    Next small village as we continue the ‘climb’ which ‘Flamenco Red’ is really enjoying as there is no wheezing or coughing or slowness as opposed to some of the ‘Trucks’ we are passing…..







    The villages seem to come up with rapid regularity as we continue the climb….







    As we get to the ‘Barrier’ which if it was down then you go no further as the Snow has blocked the road….



    But we continue on upwards on the road…..



    The red and yellow painted poles are really for the Snow Ploughs to make sure they only clear the road when the snow comes…..



    At the rear of the village in the following picture is the road…..



    While this is the view looking back to the road as you have climbed up further and the village is just off the picture to the right!....



    Upward and Onward!......







    The round this next left hand bend….



    Our jaws drop as we pass this ‘BURIED’ Road sign which give us an idea of the depth of the Snow around 7 days ago!.....





    Then we arrive at what we thought was a Campsite but turns out to be a ‘Parking Lot’ with no electricity, but you can get water from the Café/Restaurant, while the place is supposedly ‘looked after’ by a ‘Guardien’, while you can see 1 of the 5 dogs that were free to roam and create as much noise as they liked after dark and through the night!.....



    Restaurant, which served a variety of Tajines, as my Good Lady had an Apricot with Beef and I had a Fig with Beef which were both very nice for evening meal…



    While we find this ‘Reliant Robin 3 Wheeler’ with an Aluminium engine. Remembered in the UK as ‘Del Boys’ transport who was known as ‘Trotter’ from the UK TV Series ‘Only Fools and Horses’ at the back of the carpark…..



    The interior, only because the door was unlocked…..



    The vehicle had taken part in a sponsored trip, if it made it we do not know, but it had been left her at the top of the pass…..



    After getting sorted out and set up we decided to make the most of the afternoon and head off to the top of the hill taking a picnic with us and have a look at the view…..



    On our side of the hill…..



    On the other side of the ‘hill’….



    Looking forward to going down the other side!!!....



    Picnic while breathing the clear Mountain Air at 7,000+Feet…..



    Then we set off for a look around, with what looked like Tulip leaves on this plant….



    While the water from the melting snow which was very brown in colour runs through the rocks….



    Venturing a bit further over, I went off to ‘sound out’ the way and my leg went up to my thigh in a snow drift, which caused my good lady some howls of laughter……



    While the ‘Intrepid 3’ followed but a bit more cautiously…..



    A little bit further on I came upon this Ladybird, alive and enjoying the sunshine…..



    Then looking up found our friends up on the rocks…..



    While my good lady was a bit further down, trying to see the water between the rocks…..



    Actual rock formation was quite strange…..



    Then we heard this ‘Bleating’ sound coming from the other side of the valley, and it turned out to be a ‘Goat’ and her ‘Kid’ trying to get back to the herd as they had been cut off or lost, so the ‘Kid’ was making sure ‘Mum’ did not get to far without Him/Her!.....



    With one last picture across the valley, it was time to start heading back and get ready for our Tajine Dinner in the restaurant…..



    Tomorrow we are on the ‘Down Run’ but we have to get through the night, and for me it I think it was the worst night I have spent in Morocco during our two visits…..

    tisbah `ala khair (Arabic ‘Good night’)

  8. #108
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    Stage 37 “The top of the Tizi – N – Tichka Pass to Marrakesh”

    “Salam Alikam”

    After finishing dinner in the Café/Restaurant, the darkness descended fairly quickly, so with having no mains hook up after a couple of hours using the battery and LED lights we decided to have an early night.

    Shortly after the dogs started barking at anything and everything that came near or passed by, which by 11:30PM I was thoroughly hacked off with, so got dressed and went outside and started making ‘snowballs’ which were pitched at the bigger dogs and seemed to work as they made contact even though I only had the moonlight to find the target.

    While it initially went quiet, all hell once again broke loose less than 45 minutes later and continued through the night which along with the passing ‘Trucks’ left me with about 1 hours sleep for the whole time.

    When we got up as daylight came over the hill, the ‘Guardien’ was nowhere to be seen which was the case as we continued to get ready to leave, so we finally went to see the Café/Restaurant owner who by this time had ‘surfaced’ and then left.

    So now we are off down the ‘Other Side’ of the pass which because it was interesting with a lot of potholes in the road to dodge, kept me awake!.....

    The top of the pass and the first of many bends in the road to get around sometimes with the ‘HORN’ blaring away as you get to the start of the bend, as cars coming towards you seem to think that they can negotiate the bend like a racetrack and be on your side of the road!……



    Next right hander coming up on a bit steeper section as the Sun rises, the temperature climbs and we get to see more…..





    This was what TomTom was showing me for the first couple of miles while it didn’t get any better for a few more miles after in terms of hairpin bends…..



    Some of the roadside stalls many of whom were not yet ‘open for business’…..







    Just one example of the numerous ‘Potholes’ you encounter on this side of the pass as you go down…..



    Hairpin bend coming up, just glad there is no Bus or 40Tonne Truck coming up as they swing wide so you have to slow right down or stop and let them through, which happened lower down….



    As happened with this ‘Tanker Truck’…..











    Here comes the ‘Camper’!….



    First ‘Snow Barrier’ and we counted 3 in total before we reached the bottom….





    Just on the far side of the village as we passed through we see this man pushing the cart uphill with a Sheep in……



    Second ‘Snow Barrier’ along with the Snowploughs waiting for the next time they get called out…..







    Construction workers and their ‘accommodation’. I hate to think of what it was like when the snow was around!....



    Cactus plants and lots of them, just on this section…..







    Then we get closer to the ‘Red Mountain’….







    As we get there the red colour becomes very strong in the sunlight…..

















    Then we get to drive through the cloud with all Flamenco Red’s lights on as well as the high intensity Red lights on the back of the ‘Tin Tent’ just in case we get a ‘Speedy Gonzales’ at the back….





    For a minute when we saw this building along with another 2 on the other side of the road that we could not get on the camera due to a high wall, we thought we were back in Europe!....



    Back into the Clouds…



    With a few more Cactus plants….



    Time for a conversation as the Donkey riders pass each other….



    Next village coming up while this side of the pass is a lot greener that the other side….





    While the red soil seems to be more fertile……



    Nearing now Marrakesh we see LARGE Bamboo woven baskets….





    As we got near the centre the traffic was mayhem as the cars came at you from all directions….



    Medina wall, which is massive and circles the city….



    As we get to a part called ‘Le Palmerie’ which there is a ‘Tourist Route’ if you want to drive around it….



    Then a final right turn to take us to the next campsite, with some pictures of the place tomorrow as I am ‘knackered’!…..



    tisbah `ala khair (Arabic ‘Good night’)

  9. #109
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    Very interesting scenery over the last few days. The best may have been the crazy guy in shorts wandering through the snow.

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssicarman View Post
    Very interesting scenery over the last few days. The best may have been the crazy guy in shorts wandering through the snow.
    Thanks 'Pal'!

    You can go off people you know? But at least you noticed as I fell down, as my good lady did, and ended up with both wet socks & boots, but she was not eating breakfast when it happened!

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